We appreciate our online readers

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By The Staff

To those of our readers who have struggled along with us as we worked to migrate from one Web-site system to another Oct. 23, we extend an apology and a note of thanks.

Circumstances beyond our control forced us to make the change more abruptly than we would have hoped. The decision to migrate was driven by several factors and occurred at a higher level than our own. Our parent company, Landmark Community Newspapers Inc., based in Shelbyville, Ky., opted to make the conversion for all of its newspapers in 15 states, many of which already had Web sites, and to launch sites for those that didn't.

We know change, in itself, is often difficult. In the best-case scenario, a change such as this one would have been invisible to our readers. Either the look and functions of our Web site would have seemed the same or we would have made our readers aware of the coming changes with fuller explanations well in advance, versus the report we published two days after the change occurred.

We did publish an advance notice on the Web site ahead of a planned Oct. 1 conversion, but that move was postponed after people working the issue at our company headquarters realized many of us at the various newspapers needed more time to learn the new system.

In a perfect world, we would have introduced improvements in ways that would have pleased, perhaps even excited, all of you who count on our online product, rather than startled or frustrated you.

With the biggest of the changes behind us - the actual move to a different system and the working-out of some early bugs - we hope our online readers are returning and finding what they hope to get from us. We are continuing work to improve our site, the most recent changes being the addition of a special-sections button readers can click to access publications we produce as supplements to The Perry County News.

As of Thursday, our recent car-care guide, the medical guide we published in the summer, and our annual Discover community guide were available. They are in a .pdf format readable with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, but that, too, will change in coming months. Brad Koltz, director of interactive media for Landmark, noted only a small percentage of people install that program on their computers.

Driving that change is our intent to make all of the information we provide as accessible as possible.

Changes on the near horizon, we're told, are a return in about two weeks of our photo gallery, a feature whose debut came shortly before we left the old system and which was well-received. Also appearing in about two weeks will be a capability for readers to comment on the stories we write. That capability is already available by going to the "Contact Us" area to find the appropriate e-mail address, but will be easier after that change occurs.

As we continue to improve and expand our offerings, we want to hear how you feel about them. On the grand scale, all of these changes are intended to enhance the company's revenue. While we are a news organization, advertising keeps us in business, so that's important to us, of course. But those of us who provide the news articles, opinion pieces and photographs want to deliver those things to you in ways that are convenient and pleasurable. We will, therefore, continue to find ways to improve how we do that.

We hope you will continue to bear with us and let us know what you think, whatever you think.

Editor Vince Luecke has overall responsibility for news and editorial content. He can be reached at editor@perrycountynews.com. Managing Editor Kevin Koelling is responsible for day-to-day maintenance of the Web site, and can be reached at koellingkevin@ yahoo.com. Both welcome calls to 547-3424.

Our view: Editorials reflect the opinions of the newspaper.

Your view: Tell us what you think. E-mail us at editor@perrycountynews.com or mail your comments to P.O. Box 309, Tell City, IN 47586.